New Summer Play Street Initiative Promotes Healthy Living in Kingsbridge Heights

Kingsbridge Heights Community Center (KHCC) will join community leaders and residents on Thursday, July 26th to celebrate the official kick-off of the Kingsbridge Heights summer play street. With $20,000 in funding from The William J. and Dorothy K. O’Neill Foundation, the Kingsbridge Heights play street will make it easier for Kingsbridge Heights families to get outside and be active. Play streets, a citywide program led by the New York City Departments of Health & Mental Hygiene and Transportation, can not only help to reduce obesity, but also strengthen relationships between local organizations and the families that they serve. 


"I am so proud to represent the KHCC. I have long supported their many programs, because they truly impact the lives of countless people in our community, especially young people,” remarked Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz.  “The Kingsbridge Heights summer play street program is yet another example of their amazing work. I look forward to working with KHCC and supporting their programs for many years to come.”

There are very few sizable parks or affordable gyms in the Kingsbridge Heights community of the Bronx. Also, KHCC, where most youth attend programs in summer, is at capacity.  Through the play street, the Kingsbridge Heights community will now have access to a safe space where they can engage in physical activity and recreation and enjoy healthy foods.


Giselle Melendez-Susca, Executive Director of KHCC, recognizes that low-income families face the most barriers to healthy living.  “Though the summer play street, Bronx families will have a variety of outdoor activities that are both healthy and fun. We’re excited to bring this program to our community through the generous support of the O’Neill Foundation.”


A wide range of health and arts activities are planned for the play street. Including: hip hop and modern dance classes, healthy cooking classes, zumba, yoga, softball, volleyball, the Bronx’s only known rock climbing wall, the Teen Green Market, a youth-run farm stand selling fruits and vegetables form regional farm; as well as art classes. The play street is a joint effort by Bon Secours’ NYC Healthy Communities Initiative, Kingsbridge Heights Community Center, Bronx Community Board 8 and the Partnership for a Healthier Bronx at Bronx Health REACH/Institute for Family Health.


"Bronx Community Board 8 is very proud to have helped bring the KHCC Play Street project to fruition. Combined with the KHCC Teen Green market, Kingsbridge Heights now has two foundations of a healthy community: fresh food and a place to play," said Robert Fanuzzi, Chair of Bronx Community Board 8.


The Kingsbridge Heights play street will be held on Kingsbridge Terrace between Summit Place and Perot Street every Friday from 10AM to 2PM from July 26th to August 30th.  The Teen Green Market, run by the KHCC Teen Center, will be available from 12PM-5PM at the same location. The market accepts EBT, WIC, and Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program checks.






The Kingsbridge Heights Community Center was founded in 1974 by three women community activists. Today, KHCC offers programs and services for all ages, guided by the Settlement House model of community development and involvement, as a member of United Neighborhood Houses of New York City. Our mission is to build on the strengths of residents in our diverse community, enabling them to effect change and improve the quality of their own lives, those of their families, and the community at large. To learn more, please visit http://www.khcc-nyc.org/


The William J. and Dorothy K. O’Neill Foundation recognizes and celebrates the power of the human spirit in every person. It is our goal to see it flourish throughout the communities in which we live, work and raise our families. Another spirit, one of giving, has long united O'Neill family members as we work together to fulfill our family's central value: serving our communities. Through our active involvement in the Foundation, and guided by personal knowledge of those communities and our experience with nonprofits, we strive to support vital works and to honor the spirit of William and Dorothy through wise stewardship of our grantmaking legacy. To learn more, please visit http://www.oneillfdn.org/


Bronx Community Board No.8 (BXCB8) plays an important role in improving the quality of life for the communities it serves.  BXCB8 is a vital liaison and advocate for the community in dealing with New York City government, elected officials, municipal service delivery, land use and zoning issues, community and business development, the City budget and many other matters relating to the community’s health, safety and welfare. For more information about Bronx Community Board No. 8, please visit www.nyc/gov/bronxcb8


The Partnership for a Healthier Bronx at Bronx Health REACH/Institute for Family Health is committed to improving the health of Bronx residents by making the healthy choice the easy choice. The Bronx Health REACH coalition, led by the Institute for Family Health includes over 70 community-based organizations, health care providers, faith-based institutions, housing, and social service agencies. The Partnership for a Healthier Bronx is a part of a citywide initiative, funded through a Community Transformation Grant received by the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To learn more, please visit www.HealthierNYC.org and www.bronxhealthreach.org


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